That UltraBeer Thing! (thatthing.store, £24.99) is an ultrasonic motor housed in a plastic baton. Vibration releases dissolved CO2 in beer, forming a protein- and acid-laced foam at its surface.
You may think me big headed, but trapped gas is my best feature. Who am I? The perfect pint.
Lauryn Hill, one of her generation’s most gifted lyricists, famously sang about “that thing, that thing, that thing” in her song Doo Wop (That Thing). It has been charitably interpreted by many as a stand in for sex, self-respect, money or fame, but there is no evidence she wasn’t penning a catchy jingle for online gadget shop That Thing! (the exclamation mark is theirs, I promise). She may even have had this week’s gadget in mind: That UltraBeer Thing! (again, theirs). It is an ultrasonic wand that, when activated inside any glass of beer – even from a bottle or can – froths up a draught-like head as if pumped from the guts of a country pub.
It is aimed at craft-beer enthusiasts: young people of any gender who seemingly aspire to be men in their late 50s, and who rate drinking holes based on quality of wood panelling. I wonder what they will make of That UltraBeer Thing!, which is almost literally a sonic screwdriver. Perhaps accessorising with a Tom Baker scarf will soften them to its techno swagger, and the fact it follows in a grand tradition of English bohemianism by only working when it wants to. Touch activated in 60% of attempts, the rest of the time it stands inert as a headless electric toothbrush, but less useful. But, my God, when the green light graces me … I dip the stick in a glass of Cobra, the vibrations turbocharge its carbonation, and within two seconds I have Brad Pitt, ie a perfect head.
I leave the device in, to see what happens. Have you ever put bubble bath in a jacuzzi? (Highly recommended, if it is not your jacuzzi.) Just like that, I am confronted with a tidal wave of suds, a cloud that swallows me. Creamy yet effervescent; solid, gas and liquid at once, it has me laughing like a duck in a puddle. These gadgets always leave me with my head in my hands – just for once, that is perfect.
You are going to look like a rogue obstetrician if you pull it out in the pub.
Counter, drawer, back of the cupboard?
In the gentleman’s snug. (It is the sort of device AE departments see a lot.) 4/5